This week’s devotions are based on the Week 3 “A Savior Born for You! (WATCH HERE)
Isaiah 61:3b They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Here in central Texas we have a variety of oak called “Live Oak” (I have always wondered who determined that name as what is the alternative? Dead Oak? I digress.) While these trees don’t get super tall, their canopy can cover many square feet and their trunk and branches grow to amazing size. Some of them have been around for hundreds of years. The oldest Live Oak near us in Austin, TX is the “Founders Tree.” Estimated to be over 500 years old, it’s canopy has provided shade for many gatherings and is said to be a primary spot where the Tonkawa and Comanche tribes would meet to work out treaties. The tree stands as an overseer to the many years of history and interactions in the area.
Trees are amazing parts of God’s creation. I’ve nearly fallen over staring at the height of a Coastal Redwood Tree in northern California. I’ve marveled at the colors of the fall trees in the midwest and now take note of the majestic oaks in Texas. Each tree testifies to its creator.
But have you ever been called a tree? Or thought of yourself as a tree?
The variety of tree? “Oaks of Righteousness.”
I don’t know if botanists have an official latin term for this species, but what is interesting is that this term is used for those whom a) God has planted and b) who are to be a display of God’s splendor. That is, when people see “oaks of righteousness” they are to see the work of God and give glory to God.
Leading up to these words at the end of verse 3 are all the “tasks” that the Servant anointed by God would do (see yesterday’s devotion.) Oaks of righteousness are ones who have received the work of God’s Servant (Jesus) by faith. They are ones in whom the good news is at work. They are ones who have been freed from their sin and brought into the light of God’s truth from the darkness of unbelief. They have found peace in the disappointments of life and live each day in the joy of being the recipients of God’s favor. Ultimately they are covered with the righteousness (perfection) that Jesus won for them.
As a result, they stand strong and majestic as a powerful oak, displaying what happens when God works in the hearts of mankind.
This includes you. You are an “Oak of Righteousness” planted for the display of the Lord’s splendor.
Maybe you didn’t wake up this morning, yawn, and stretch your arms out and say, “I am an Oak of Righteousness!” But you are.
You live in the status that God has given you by faith, one that includes the perfect life of Jesus being applied to you. You are righteous.
You live in the strength that God has given you as he walks with you through the spiritual, emotional, and physical challenges of life. You are an oak!
You live in the visibility of others which observe your life and hear your story and see what happens to a heart and a life when God’s work takes over. You are a display of God’s splendor.
I’m not suggesting getting a new name tag for your work place, but perhaps this inspired word given to Isaiah is one that you can embrace every day as a statement of identity and affirmation as you begin your day.
“I am an oak of righteousness, planted today by the Lord to display His splendor!”
Apply: What does this statement of identity mean for you as you embrace it as a gift from God?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for planting me in your righteousness and strength. Forgive me when I fail to display your splendor. Empower me by your Spirit to be the oak of righteousness you have planted for the display of your splendor. AMEN.